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PM to attend Belt and Road Forum

Ben Sokhean / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen will depart for China this week. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen will this week lead a delegation to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China.

According to China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, China is set to host the forum from Thursday to Saturday in Beijing under a theme entitled “Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”.

The main purpose of the forum is to “promote high quality development” under the Belt and Road cooperation.

Xinhua News reported that Mr Wang said President Xi Jinping is expected to deliver a keynote speech at the forum, and heads of state from 37 countries will attend the forum’s roundtable summit, including Russia, Portugal, Switzerland and Italy.

Cambodia is one of the staunchest supporters of the Belt and Road Initiative with an expectation that the Belt and Road Initiative will contribute to peace and shared prosperity.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ket Sophann yesterday did not comment on what agreement will be signed between Cambodia and China during Mr Hun Sen’s visit.

CPP spokesman Suos Yara last month said this year’s forum will further expand and deepen international collaborations and partnerships based on the spirit of peace, cooperation and mutual benefit.

Mr Yara at the time said with the launch of the BRI, Cambodia has become China’s premier partner and beneficiary. He also said that Mr Hun Sen signed an investment contract worth $7 billion during his trip to China in December 2017.

“The success of the BRI depends very much on the quality of the projects and the perception and participation of the local community,” Mr Yara said. “Both countries still need to double their efforts to ensure that development projects under BRI really benefit the local people. People-centred development approach should be at the core of BRI and Cambodia-China partnership.”

Kin Phea, director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, yesterday said the forum is an opportunity for Cambodia to garner more benefits from its relationship with China.

“It is an important opportunity for Cambodia to gain more economic and political benefits,” Mr Phea said. “Through the BRI, we have received many things such as infrastructure projects, including a hydropower dam.”

“I believe this trip will make the relationship between both countries to be more in depth and stronger. It is time Cambodia gets its interests,” he added. “The question is how much can Cambodia get from it.”

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